The board of Michael Hill International Limited (ASX:MHJ) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend on the 25th of March to AU$0.035. Based on the announced payment, the dividend yield for the company will be 5.0%, which is fairly typical for the industry.
Michael Hill International's Earnings Easily Cover the Distributions
Solid dividend yields are great, but they only really help us if the payment is sustainable. Based on the last payment, Michael Hill International was quite comfortably earning enough to cover the dividend. This means that a large portion of its earnings are being retained to grow the business.
Over the next year, EPS is forecast to fall by 4.5%. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio could be 56%, which we consider to be quite comfortable, with most of the company's earnings left over to grow the business in the future.
Michael Hill International's Dividend Has Lacked Consistency
Michael Hill International has been paying dividends for a while, but the track record isn't stellar. If the company cuts once, it definitely isn't argument against the possibility of it cutting in the future. Since 2016, the dividend has gone from AU$0.047 to AU$0.07. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 7.0% a year over that time. A reasonable rate of dividend growth is good to see, but we're wary that the dividend history is not as solid as we'd like, having been cut at least once.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
Growing earnings per share could be a mitigating factor when considering the past fluctuations in the dividend. Michael Hill International has impressed us by growing EPS at 17% per year over the past five years. Since earnings per share is growing at an acceptable rate, and the payout policy is balanced, we think the company is positioning itself well to grow earnings and dividends in the future.
We Really Like Michael Hill International's Dividend
Overall, we think this could be an attractive income stock, and it is only getting better by paying a higher dividend this year. The earnings easily cover the company's distributions, and the company is generating plenty of cash. If earnings do fall over the next 12 months, the dividend could be buffeted a little bit, but we don't think it should cause too much of a problem in the long term. Taking this all into consideration, this looks like it could be a good dividend opportunity.
It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Michael Hill International (of which 1 is a bit concerning!) you should know about. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.